December 29, 2009 08:13:37am
YDIH - Mando Meets Whirlwind
Okay folks. I figured it would happen sooner or later.
I finally met up with one of you miscreants at a show. Whirlwind Dreamer was up visiting family for Christmas in Norfolk. Donna Jean and Dark Star Orchestra were in town so we made arrangements to meet at the NORVA for a beer and to see the show.
My son and I got down there and started looking for WWD. We talked on the phone beforehand, he said look for a guy in a Grateful Dead shirt (BTW there was NOBODY else there wearing a Dead shirt). I wandered through the slowly building crowd, approaching people (wearing Dead shirts) asking "Whirlwind?" Most of the answers were blank stares.
Now I had given a very detailed descritpion of what I would be wearing - "Look for the idiot in shorts" (It was 36 degrees) and a few minutes later, WWD and his sister found us. As a point of order, Whirlwind's sister is a whole lot better looking than he is. (Sorry Chris, that's just the way that is)
We tossed back a few Sierra Nevada's and settled in for the Donna Jean show. She came onstage promptly at 7:00PM and started off with Sugaree. My son looked at me and asked "Is that really HER??" and then he stuck his fingers in his ears. (Okay, not really)
I thought she both looked and sounded great - early on, I hobbled up to the rail to take a few pictures and she looked right at me from about 10 feet away and gave me a huge smile - I'll get the pics posted soon.
Here's her setlist:
12/28/09 The Norva. Norfolk, VA
(Opening for Dark Star Orchestra)
w/Freeman White (Mother Nature’s Sons, Jam Stampede)-keyboards
*w/Lisa Mackey (Dark Star Orchestra)-harmony vocal
Sugaree, Back Around, You Ain’t Woman Enough, She Said She Said> Jam> Mighty High*, Tore Up Over You
Mighty High with Lisa Mackey of DSO was a real treat and they complemented each other perfectly.
Tore Up was absolutely blistering - both Donna Jean's vocals and Jeff Mattson's guitar.
Whirlwind, Sister Whirlwind, my son and I jammed through Donna Jean's set on the floor, but then I had to gimp up to the blind, crippled and crazy section to give the knee a break.
Whirlwind was somewhere in the middle of the crowd for the first set, but as the second set opened we noticed he had worked his way to the rail with his sister - I took some pics - hopefully they came out.
DSO started at 8:30 - single drummer, 4 mike stage set-up - we knew it was going to be a late '73 show.
10/25/73 - Dane County Coliseum, Madison, WI
Here Comes Sunshine
Black Throated Wind
They Love Each Other
Looks Like Rain
Playing In The Band
China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider
Me And My Uncle
Dark Star > Mind Left Body Jam > Dark Star Jam
Eyes Of The World
Weather Report Suite Prelude
Weather Report Suite Part 1
Let It Grow
Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad
One More Saturday Night
Encore: Uncle John's Band
Just my opinion, but Jeff Mattson is a stellar choice for filling John K's vacancy. His guitar work on Sunshine was outstanding. The transition jam from China into Rider was as good as it gets. My son is more of a tech metal player and listener, and is not a big fan of the exploratory wanderings in some versions of PITB and Dark Star. (Forget Drums/Space - he either takes a nap or pees for 30 minutes.)
That said, the Mind Left Body Jam was the highlight of the show for him. But that was only until he heard GDTRFB. "Damn that was good!" was what I think he said.
I didn't see any tapers, but if this show goes up on the Archive or anywhere else, I would recommend giving it a listen. I think this was Jeff's 5th or 6th show and he looks to be settling in well with the rest of the guys.
Final score - Got to see a great show by DSO, spent some quality time with my son (I now have to go see some 'pour-acid-in-your-eyes-eat-your-brain' metal band named Killswitch Engage with him in a few weeks), got to meet Whirlwind - all in all a good night.
Show ended around 1:20, I got home in time to grab a few hours of sleep before heading to work for a half-day. Then it's off to Richmond to catch Donna Jean and DSO all over again at the National Theater.
I gotta say, for you (tie) dyed in the wool hard-core fans, unbend your stiff necks and go catch a DSO show if you get the chance. We all know they aren't the Dead, we all know Jeff Mattson isn't Jerry. What I think you will come away with is the opinion that these guys are very talented musicians who aren't trying to replace the Dead - but they are very dedicated fans who are committed to recreating for a new generation, what some of us were lucky enough to experience first hand.
And dammit, every once in a while, if you close your eyes and listen for a bit, when you open your eyes you are almost surprised that the Fat Guy isn't on the stage in front of you.
Whirlwind - it was my pleasure meeting you and your sister. I look forward to the next time. I'll post the pics we snapped last night here soon.
Anyone going to Richmond tonight?
This post was modified by Mandojammer on 2009-12-29 16:13:37